Minneapolis  (KROC AM News) - Minnesota Twins fans cheered Friday night when Joe Nathan took the mound.

No, he wasn’t called in to save another game and it wasn’t a flashback.

Nathan WAS wearing a Twins uniform and technically, was a member of the team. But the 42-year-old onetime stud saver for the Twins was there to throw out the ceremonial first pitch to his former battery mate, Joe Mauer. Nathan decided to hang up the cleats and glove this week and after signing a one day contract, retired as a member of the Minnesota Twins.

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Nathan retires 8th on MLB’s all-time saves list with 377. He collected 260 of those as an All Star closer for the Twins, a franchise record.

Nathan was traded from San Francisco to the Twins before the 2004 season in a trade that rates as one of the best in Minnesota baseball history. The Twins gave up one player - cranky catcher A.J. Pierzynski - for Nathan and two other pitchers, Francisco Liriano and Boof Bonser.

In a Friday night interview, Nathan said he can now concentrate on his golf game and coaching his 13-year-old son's baseball team.

It’s expected he will become a member of the Twins Hall of Fame. It’s likely he will also be considered for MLB’s Hall of Fame.

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